Move over Jenny Craig -- count carbon instead of calories!

Okay, this one is just weird. Walker's Crisps (the U.K. division of Pepsi-owned Lay's Potato Chips) have just instituted another fun number to track on their packaging -- in addition to all the regular nutrition information (sort of a misnomer when you're talking about potato chips) they're now listing a "carbon label" that states, in this case, that 75 grams of carbon were emitted to bring you the tasty 35 gram bag of crisps. That number counts the amount of carbon emitted in production, in getting the bag to the store, and so on -- essentially, it's the bag's personal carbon footprint.

According to this article this move on Pepsico's part is going to initiate a new marketing war in which all manner of food products will feature similar labels, in the hopes of garnering increased sales from the green-friendly demographic. What brand of overpriced sugar water do you want to buy -- if the nutritional elements are more-or-less the same, they're hoping you'll go with the one that sports a lower carbon emission label.

Once again, I'm really big into positive change and social responsibility, but this seems like a cheap marketing ploy to me. There's no context -- clearly if there's a brand that produces less carbon emissions that's a good thing -- but really, how is the layman to know the environmental impact of five or six grams of carbon? I think it's going to be an excuse to jack up the already-inflated prices on consumer goods in the interest of pretending to be "green". Carbon is carbon, whether it's 50 grams or 30 grams.

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